Judges 18:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 18:27, NIV: Then they took what Micah had made, and his priest, and went on to Laish, against a people at peace and secure. They attacked them with the sword and burned down their city.

Judges 18:27, ESV: But the people of Dan took what Micah had made, and the priest who belonged to him, and they came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and struck them with the edge of the sword and burned the city with fire.

Judges 18:27, KJV: And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire.

Judges 18:27, NASB: Then they took what Micah had made and the priest who had belonged to him, and came to Laish, to a people quiet and unsuspecting, and struck them with the edge of the sword; and they burned the city with fire.

Judges 18:27, NLT: Then, with Micah's idols and his priest, the men of Dan came to the town of Laish, whose people were peaceful and secure. They attacked with swords and burned the town to the ground.

Judges 18:27, CSB: After they had taken the gods Micah had made and the priest that belonged to him, they went to Laish, to a quiet and unsuspecting people. They killed them with their swords and burned the city.

What does Judges 18:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The writer of Judges makes no effort to sympathize with this group of people from the tribe of Dan. Unlike other groups of nomads seeking a home, they are entirely unlikable. They were introduced in search of more territory for their people (Judges 18:1). At first glance, their action might seem to fit with the Lord's previous commands to Israel. That directive included wiping out the depraved inhabitants of the land (Deuteronomy 7:1–5).

However, the people of Dan had been given their inheritance in the central and western areas of the Promised Land (Joshua 19:40–46. They failed to trust God enough to finish driving the inhabitants from their specific borders (Judges 1:34–36). As did other tribes in Israel, Dan repeatedly participated in the worship of false gods (Judges 2:16–19). This group robbed a man of his idols and his hired family priest (Judges 18:14–20).

That robbery was merely a short stop on their way to their ultimate target: the city of Laish. Earlier, five scouts identified it (Judges 18:2) as a lush, prosperous area. They also noted that the inhabitants were peaceful and completely unprepared to defend themselves from attack (Judges 18:7, 13).

Dan's convoy arrives at Laish and accomplishes their goal. They butcher the undisturbed, oblivious Sidonians who live there and burn their city. While this might yet have been part of God's judgment on the nations of the territory (Deuteronomy 9:4–6), the tribe of Dan is not acting in dependence on Yahweh. They act without Him and take what they want from territory allotted to another tribe (Joshua 17).